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6/10 health professionals is in an allied health field – Find the right career for you!

panorama of diverse group of health professionals standing in a group

Careers in Allied Health

Allied Health is an exciting and varied field with many different career paths to choose from. Six out of ten health professionals work in an allied health field and provide health services as part of the overall healthcare team. Career options span the continuum from social and behavioral sciences to medical and clinical sciences. Within those broad categories, your level of patient contact and the type of work settings can vary considerably.

General skills required across most allied health professions include:

  • Personal character - Are you caring, compassionate, and trustworthy? Are you able to operate in a confidential environment with a high degree of professionalism?
  • Excellent oral and written communication - Can you effectively communicate with patients and colleagues? Can you clearly and concisely document services and procedures?
  • Team Player -  Can you work interprofessionally (as part of a team) to provide health services and care for patients and clients?
  • Adaptable - Can you adapt to new environments and changing technologies?

It's also important to recognize that many disciplines require additional post-baccalaureate education and/or education through a graduate or certificate program to obtain licensure or another credential. Others allow for direct entry into the workforce with opportunities for continuing education as your career progresses. The links and lists below are meant to assist you in exploring some of the potential health careers and/or post-baccalaureate programs available to you. They are by no means exhaustive, and the Department takes no responsibility for information contained on external sites. Please consult with your advisor to discuss your career plans and any questions you might have.

What are some possible allied health fields and related professions that previous Department graduates have pursued?

The list below represents just some of the allied health careers you might consider pursuing in addition to graduate professional programs (medical, dental, physician assistant, etc.) that our recent graduates have pursued.

Found a career path that interests you? Talk with your academic advisor!

  • Anesthesiologist Assistant/Anesthesia Technologist or Technician
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Audiologist
  • Cardiovascular Technologist or Technician
  • Behavioral Disorder Counselor
  • Cytotechnologist
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Education (K-12 or post-secondary)
  • Exercise Science/Exercise Physiology
  • Genetic Counselor
  • Health Administration
  • Health Information Administrator/Technologist
  • Health Educator/Coordinator
  • Health Insurance industry professional
  • Healthcare Communications professional
  • Histotechnologist
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist or Technologist
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist
  • Nutritionist
  • Occupational Safety & Health Specialist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Orthotist
  • Patient Case Manager or Care Coordinator
  • Patient Services Coordinator
  • Phlebotomist/Blood Bank or Transfusion Specialist
  • Prosthetist
  • Physical Therapist/Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Public Health Educator
  • Recreational Therapist
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Research Assistant/Associate (college/university, corporate, or clinical laboratory settings)
  • Research & Development
  • Research Scientist
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Surgical Technologist
  • Surgical Neurophysiologist
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

How can I work in healthcare while pursuing my studies and/or gain patient contact experience?

Gaining experience in healthcare settings and earning patient contact hours are potentially great ways to:

  • explore a career in a health-related profession to see if it's the right path for you
  • improve your competitiveness for graduate/professional health programs
  • earn some extra money during your academic career and/or in the summer months

You can do this through research and internship experiences, volunteer opportunities, or by earning a certificate in a health-related field that does not require a Bachelor's degree. Some of these fields include:

What level of patient contact can I expect?

Your anticipated level of patient contact will vary depending on the field you choose to pursue. The list below includes some examples of allied health fields with varying levels of patient contact:

  • High patient contact fields include disciplines like dietetics, health promotion, public health, physical therapy, occupational therapy, cardio-pulmonary care, physician, dentist, physician assistant
  • Moderate patient contact fields include radiography and sonography
  • Low patient contact fields include laboratory professions like medical laboratory sciences, cytogenetics, and molecular diagnostics

In what kind of settings might I work?

These are just some of the work settings in which an allied health professional may operate:

  • Clinical - hospitals, physicians' offices, laboratories, short- and long-term care facilities
  • Community - local, state, and federal agencies; community-based health organizations
  • Management & Supervision - health departments, hospital administration, health management organizations
  • Business - sales and marketing of health-related products and services
  • Education - teaching, directing or coordinating health programs and services, community-based health education organizations
  • Research - product development, pharmaceuticals, food products, cancer research
  • Industry - equipment development, technical representative
  • Consultant - physicians' offices, healthcare facilities
  • International - PeaceCorps, governmental and non-governmental agencies

Where can I find more information on specific allied health professions and educational programs?

First, please make sure that any program you are considering is accredited! This will help ensure that it meets licensing or certification requirements. Check out the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs to find accredited programs in a variety of allied health fields.

Chiropractic

Diagnostic Programs

Dietetics

Dental School

Genetics & Genetic Counseling

Healthcare Administration

Health Education & Health Promotion

Medical School

Naturopathic Medicine

Nursing

Occupational Therapy

Optometry & Opthalmology

Orthotics & Prosthetics

Osteopathic Medicine

Pharmacy

Physical Therapy

Physician Assistant (PA)

Professional Science Master's Degrees

Public Health

Occupational Safety & Health

Questions?

If you're a current AHS student, please contact your academic advisor. If you're a prospective student, please e-mail alliedhealth@uconn.edu.